Dam Safety Expert Consultation May 20

Posted on May 20, 2005  /  2 Comments

Dam Safety

LIRNEasia and Vanguard Foundation, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka National Committee of Large Dams, have conducted an Expert Consultation as the basis for developing a concept paper on an Early Warning System for Dam Related Hazards. Most of the Sri Lankan experts on dam management and safety were invited to this event.

The event was kicked off by Chandra Jayaratne, Director of the Vanguard Foundation and Rohan Samarajiva, Executive Director of LIRNEasia with a welcome address and opening remarks.

The first presentation titled, Nineteen years later, what lessons have been learnt from the Kantale breach (and what changes have been implemented)? by D W R Weerakoon, Former Director General of Irrigation and Secretary, Presidential Commission on the Kantale Dam Breach.

It was followed by a presentation by Nimal Wickramaratne, Director, Headworks of the Mahaweli Authority documenting International best practices in dam safety.

The third presentation documented the Current situation of dam management in Sri Lankaby Badra Kamaladasa, Deputy Director (Dam Safety), Department of Irrigation.

The fourth and the last presentation was made by Tissa Illangasekare, AMAX Distinguished Chair of Environmental Science & Engineering & Professor of Civil Engineering; Director, Center for Experimental Study of Subsurface Environmental Processes (CESEP) Colorado School of Mines, USA & Anura Jayasumana, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Computer Science, Colorado State University, USA via videoconferencing from Colorado. Their presentation explored What are some innovative technologies for hazard detection in dams?

Each presentation was followed by 30 minutes of discussion. The Expert Consultation ended with an open forum where dam experts discussed some of the crucial issues raised in the presentations. This session was chaired by K.S.R. De Silva, Director General of Irrigation & President, Sri Lanka National Committee on Large Dams.

Based on the discussions and presentations, a concept paper on an Early Warning System for Dam Related Hazards is currently being written and will be presented on this website shortly for your comments. Please check back later.


  1. Thanks for the article. I found it rather informative and it made me think of some things differently. Thanks again. :)